'I remember': Jude Bellingham now shares what Grealish did to him the first time they met on England duty
Manchester City midfielder Jack Grealish may have made the switch from Aston Villa last summer, but as a boyhood claret and blues fan he will still be well aware of their rivalry with Bimringham City.
It is because of this fact that former Blue, Jude Bellingham, was worried that their first meeting would be awkward, as he told Borussia Dortmund’s Youtube channel.
Bellingham, of course, grew up with Birmingham and still is a big supporter of the Championship side.
The pair have both gone on to achieve big things since leaving their boyhood cities. Grealish has picked up a Premier League title under Pep Guardiola and Bellingham has earned praise all over Europe as one of the best young midfielders in football.
And when Bellingham was first called up to the England squad back in November 2020, he met the ex-Villa man for the first time.
What Grealish did to Bellingham the first time they met
Bellingham admitted he was worried that it may be tense meeting Grealish, given their club allegiances, but his fears were unfounded.
“I thought it would be a bit awkward, you know the first time I went to the England team,” he said.
“I remember being behind him in the lunch queue and thinking ‘I hope this isn’t awkward’ but we both have no reason to dislike each other.
“I’ve never played against him. And literally the first thing he did was turn round and go ‘oh are you alright mate? He came over and gave me a big hug and said welcome to the team, and I sat down with him on the table and he was talking to me and that.
“It’s hard to dislike him. He’s just a really good guy, regardless of whether he played for Villa!”
Bellingham ‘hates’ Villa
As a Birmingham City fan, Bellingham had no issue with admitting his hatred for Villa in the same interview. The 19-year-old was asked who he dislikes more out of the Villains and Dortmund’s rivals Schalke.
He responded: “I’ve hated Villa for longer, as I grew up as a Blues fan, so I’ve hated them for longer but it’s choosing between one – I couldn’t!”
Bellingham’s comments just highlight the excellent camaraderie in the England group at the moment.
It has been well documented in the past that club rivalries often hampered how well players got on when they represented the Three Lions.
However, Gareth Southgate has done well to eradicate any ill feeling in the group, with the current squad seemingly getting on better than any before.
It has served England well – after a World Cup semi-final and a European championship final in their last two tournaments.
And Bellingham and Grealish will be among those hoping that England can go one further at this year’s World Cup, later in the year.
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